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Planning An Escape April 20, 2014

Filed under: Budget,Change,Finance,Health,Humor,Humour,Money,Organization,Travel,Uncategorized — goodgame43 @ 10:40 pm


I have so many Airmiles that I can circle the world at least once. I may even be able to fit some stops in. However, I have a problem deciding where to go and, harder still, who will pay for the rest of the expenses.


I could always use the Airmiles differently. Perhaps spend some on airfare and the rest on a hotel. And a rental car. And tickets to things. And it looks like I am staying home and going to Victoria for the night.


I’d better not ever go to jail. Apparently, I am really bad at planning an escape.


Change of the Day:  Look into what my Airmiles will actually allow me to do without spending alot of money. And then, make some more money.


You Have Got to Get Out More March 13, 2014



I live in a wonderful seaside town on Vancouver Island. Five years ago, a wonderful marine center opened down on our wonderful waterfront. Filled with wonders of the ocean, and given wonderfully high ratings by all the visitors from other wonderful places in the world, it stands neglected by only me. I’ve never been.


I bet you’re wondering why.


It’s because I had such a good time at our old whale museum when my kids were little that I couldn’t face the new place. That, and I never leave the house.


Change of the Day: Leave the house. Go to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Center. And, maybe invite the kids.


Taxes Can Be Sooooo Taxing March 8, 2014



Okay, not many people look forward to tax time. So, in that, I feel a wonderful sense of camaraderie with my fellow Canadians. Where we part ways is the number that take their T4s (employment income slips) to someone else to have their taxes done. People, get a grip. There are online programs that will walk you through doing your taxes for free if your annual income is under $20,000. FOR FREE. The Canada Revenue Agency even has a LIST of the programs that are available for free. Why pay someone else hundreds of dollars to do them for you?


Wait a minute. Hundreds? Please ignore everything I’ve just said. I’ll have my ad for doing your taxes for you posted in moments.


Change of the Day:  Think about how your skill set might be applied differently to bring in some income. And, get your taxes done, girl.






Choosing to Compliment the Commendable March 1, 2014



My friend had a problem the other night with his phone. It stopped working suddenly. Given that he lives alone and he’s only just moved home from the hospital after his surgery, this was not a good thing.


I found out when I clicked onto a Scrabble game we had going through Facebook. He explained what was happening and I called the Telus service line. It was closed. I searched for another option, and found a Canada-wide number to call. Yay!  I got through. He was saved!  Well, not saved exactly, more like on his way to being reconnected eventually assuming everything went well. Yay! Things might go well!


My friend and I communicated through Scrabble chat. The Telus tech guy waited while I typed the tech instructions to my friend, he carried them out, typed the result back to me and I told the tech guy what had happened. This went on for an hour.  We didn’t fix the phone despite all valiant efforts that night but by morning something changed and my friend’s phone was working again.


The tech rep(s) were professional, polite, concerned, diligent, patient, and outstanding representatives for Telus. I feel certain that they worked past their closing time – like 35 minutes past by the time 10:35pm came around. 


GIVE THOSE PEOPLE A RAISE  but don’t put it on my friend’s bill, k?


Change of the Day:  Send a note when someone does something extraordinary. Or put up a billboard. Billboards are good, too.

* The original title of this piece was, “Choosing to Complement the Commendable,” but my subtle wordplay was denounced as bad spelling so I changed it to the right spelling. : )


Looking for the Right Pot February 6, 2014



I speak not of Mary Jane. Nay, I speak of the search for a pot of the gleaming metal and sturdy handle kind. A prize to be won, a kitchen grail to be found, and soon one hopes, as the need to make spaghetti sauce grows stronger by the day. We lost our last brave pot to the demon of being left on the stove too long. Burnt and battered, it survived five days of soaking and scrubbing before finally succumbing to its injuries.


I have searched the nearby kingdoms for a pot worthy of my kitchen for many weeks. It must be large (I apologize to those who actually believe size doesn’t matter) and prepared to work hard and often. It must understand the language of love (chicken soup) as well as the language of tears (onion soup).  Unassailable in the face of garlic (no vampire pots need apply) and available at my whim (this is not to imply the handle is loose) this pot must exist for without it I cannot continue my culinary conquest of tomatoes (crushed, diced and pasted).


I will find it and the dinner shall be good.


Change of the Day:  Try settling for something less than the perfect pot. After all, it’s going to hold a something less than perfect sauce.


Stay-cation of a Different Kind February 3, 2014


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If you stay home but think about somewhere else, is it a stay-cation or st-ink? Safe to assume if you’re traveling with someone else and they find out the only thing you did was plan the vacation but never booked the vacation…you’ll be staying home AND be in the stink.


I read recently that planning a vacation is the most relaxing part of traveling. Makes sense, no clothes to buy, no tiny locks with no longer matching keys to find, no care arrangements to be made for pets or parents and no lines to stand in. If I were planning a holiday, I’d consider going to the bustling metropolis of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Stop yelling at the screen.  Ottawa is wonderful.


Ottawa has the National Gallery, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Canadian Museum of History, the Parliament of the Moderately Civilized and the hill it sits on, and the Canadian War Museum. The nearby Gatineau Hills are beautiful and Montreal is only a short drive away. And, if I recall correctly from 1983, there is a hopping dance club across the river in Hull.  Theme song for the trip? “Girls Just Wanna Have Fu-uh-uhn.” 


Change of the Day:  Plan a trip that I won’t be going on because my bank account has a vote in this. And, imagine meeting Cyndi and Cher at their concert in Ottawa on April 26th, just in time for my birthday.  “Fun. Girls. Girls just wanna have fu-uh-uhn…”.


Out to the Furniture Pasture January 29, 2014

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Dear Children,

Moving out can be an awesome experience. And, not just for your parents.


You will get a lesson in generosity. People who love you and hate their furniture will happily hand it over to help you out. Want a reupholstered 40-year-old rocking chair that squeaks without remorse when you land in it or try to get out? Or perhaps a set of oddly short mugs that came with a set of plates mom used in college? I didn’t like them then but I’m hoping you’ll like them now. Or at least get them out of the basement. How about some curtains made out of Grandma’s mother-of-the-groom dress circa 1978? They’re bright yellow and covered in lace. They’ll look great next to the rocker.


Okay, okay, I have a hidden agenda. I want new furniture throughout the house. Maybe a couple of nice lamps instead of the the ones that used to have shades. Maybe enough stuff gone that repainting the kitchen cupboards in today’s fashionable white would seem like a reachable goal. Do you need blinds? Because the ones I ordered in 1996 in beige but arrived more like pink need to go.


Funny what you live with when you’re busy raising kids. Now that they’re all going to be moving on, it seems silly to spend money on furniture just for me. Afterall, the ultimate plan is move back in with them.

Change of the Day: Buy something useful, but portable, like a new lamp or a mercedes. And, be sure I keep a current address for the kids.